Press Release Date
Wednesday, 13th February 2019
On the 12th January 2019, Spanish media outlet El Confidencial published a report which included phone transcripts between the Director of the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture, Andreina Fenech Farrugia, and José Fuentes García, the vice president of the Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos Group. The report and transcripts suggest that Dr Fenech Farrugia has taken bribes from IUU tuna operations. She was suspended immediately after these allegations came to light.
“Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing is one of the largest threats to the health of the oceans and the communities that live off of them. It has been a top priority for scientists, policy makers, fishers, and civil society alike. The allegations that a top government official and the world’s largest bluefin tuna operation are involved in the illegal trade of an already endangered fish is extremely serious and requires the appropriate response from both local government and the EU.” said JD Farrugia, director of fish4tomorrow. “We are calling on the local authorities to carry out a full investigation on the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as the Maltese branches of the Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos Group; Mare Blu Tuna Farm Ltd and RF Malta Holding Ltd.”